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EYE WITNESS REPORT October 29, Sugar Creek, Ohio ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY final USDA rules for livestock moving interstate.
Yoder, Apple Creek, Ohio, on the left. Veterinarians, state staff and ranchers were in attendance.
The Ohio State Veterinarian, Tony M. Forshey, officiated an ADT rule — cattle requirements overview meeting with producers on Oct 29. This was one of about a dozen in Ohio and similar to a few hundred held in most states.
My appreciation of Dr. Forshey was increased as I watched him carefully articulate the maze of complicated and difficult federal rules for state veterinarians and animal producers. The tight rope he had to walk being forced to enforce federal rules and yet having “state rights” to tweak certain parts of the rule making process — his assistant called it “ability to relax” federal ADT rules.
If the Affordable Care Act is confusing, the facial expressions of Ohio farmers attending told the story. One major veal producer, RC Farms, said “I am not going to do it!” No reply was offered by Dr. Forshey as to the enforcements, fines or penalties for future non-compliance. (I sensed he did not want to go there in this crowd.)
New ADT changes and procedures defined include:
~ There are federal rules of ADT that are enforced federally and there are ways a state veterinarian can increase enforcements or “relax” these rules. Although the feds have a solid rule process, states can and may or may not relax or add to these rules. The state veterinarian has that authority.
~ The federal written rule leaves a clever option –“Other movements as approved.” Of which the layman will find out what these “other movements” are in years to come. ~ More clamp-down enforcements affect cattle than all other animal species. ~ The new acronym for vet certificate or health certificate is ICVI, Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. No other term will be used in the future.
~ At first blush approved animal ID methods seem broader than ever before which includes official back tags, NUES (free silver ear clips), USDA shield yellow plastic AIN, 840 pens, tattoos, brand inspections, normal ICVI, breed registration certificates and the new OSS (Owner-Shipper Statement federal form) which, believe it or not allows the owner-shipper to fill out the basic info of a ICVI, except does not require any health evaluation by a veterinarian. (attached)
~ The approval of a breed registration certificate is new. Most breed association certificates contain more information than the ICVI or any other USDA method of ID. The Texas Longhorn registration certificate (attached) requires a color photo, OCV on females, a permanent hot iron herd holding brand and individual ID number brand, which is far more documentation than any USDA requirement.
~ A federal category called “commuter herds” is created to accommodate transient herds that cross tribes or herds in joining or different states.
~ New ADT rules recommend to USDA tag day old calves in the USA the same as required in Europe.
~ All auction facilities will be politically forced to become a USDA approved official “tag site.”
~ The 840 pen is required to attach to a premises ID site number.
~ The NUES clip does not require a premises ID.
With careful reading, the above do not include all the intricate demands of the new ADT. The same master minds of NAIS (most hated USDA program in history) are still Neil Hammerschmidt and John Wiemers controlling and expanding federal rule books.
To add layers of confusion to ADT consider Obama’s “57 states” all have state veterinarians who can apply their own personal “tweaking” to add and remove rules. Take the dozens of different federal flavors of rules, add the state veterinarian’s tweak factors, the tribes and the commuter compromise rules and you have a recipe to equal or excel the enforcement confusion of Obamacare.
The NAIS was about identification — that didn’t sell. The new ADT includes the word disease, which all animal owners have a healthy respect for — disease prevention is important. However, with the new OSS federal form it takes the veterinarian out of the picture who was licensed to do a “health inspection.” Now, disease has proven to not be the central issue.
Australia was 6 years ahead of the USA with their National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS), which has become the night mare of all night mares for ranchers there. They are recording a 32% lost tag record.
Many thought NAIS and ADT was totally about adding government jobs, because all rules, regulations, paper piles, and enforcements cause the feds to hire more staff. They require more veterinarian inspections and fees — then when it appeared to make sense, here comes the OSS form that eliminated the veterinarian’s job.
Have no fear of simplicity or minimal paper/computer work. On the APHIS fact sheet it says, “Additional traceability requirements for this group (cattle & bison) will be addressed in separate rule-making in the future, allowing more time for APHIS to work closely with industry to ensure the requirements are effective and can be implemented.”
Hammerschmidt and Wiemers still have a paying job ever creating “additional requirements.” Is there just a chance of, perhaps — “less requirements” in the future, to allow the American cattle producer to spend more time just simply making a living?
Caption DZ 0660:
Tony M. Forshey, DVM, Ohio State Veterinarian, labors to explain the federal ADT rules as two of his support associates assist with the power point presentation. Sugar Creek, Ohio Livestock Auction Barn, Oct 29, 2013.
Caption DZ 0663:
Listeners at the ADT power point presentation, Sugar Creek Auction Arena, Sugar Creek, Ohio. RC Farms owner, Roy